Update 3 (11pm, 1 September): The Bersih 2.0 Steering Committee’s estimate tallies with our prediction and estimate of 500,000.

Update 2 (1 September): Amazing! The massive sea of humanity at Dataran at the peak of the rally last night could have ranged from 300,000 to 400,000 (including the river of yellow at places like Jalan Tun Perak). Bear in mind that by 10pm, volunteers at Jalan Tun Perak were already carrying placards telling people heading to Dataran that the place was already full.

And so, contrary to expectations, the second day’s attendance was larger than the first day’s figure of over 250,000.

If we eliminate half of the first day’s figure (being those who might have stayed on or returned for both days), the overall number of visitors for the entire 34-hour event should be approaching half a million, close to what I had predicted. (Remember, all these are just ball park figures). Syabas, Malaysians!

Update 1 (31 August): Another large turnout this Sunday morning. In Jalan Tun Perak alone, perhaps 50,000 people by 11.30am. This could double or triple later this afternoon. So if we add this figure to what we got yesterday (below) and assuming half of them are the same people who turned up ont the first day, I think we can safely estimate that the turnout for Bersih 4 surpasses 300,000.

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Original post (30 August):

It is always difficult to estimate crowds of more than 100,000. But let’s try.

The consensus for the previous rally, Bersih 3, was that more than 200,000 people attended, with estimates ranging from 200,000 to 250,000.

Last night, when I met Aliran’s Sarajun Hoda, who is also the deputy chairman of the Bersih 2.0 Steering Committee, he told me this time the rally was larger, with the crowd stretching all the way down from Jalan Tun Perak to Pudu, much farther than the last time.

He could be right. From where I was yesterday evening along Jalan Tun Perak, I estimated the crowd at some 150,000.

But I couldn’t see how far the mass of humanity stretched along the road. At one intersection, you could barely wade through this sea of humanity.

A contact told me that when leaving the scene at about 5pm, she noticed that people were still arriving via LRT for the rally.

Another source told me that his friends at the scene estimated the crowd at 200,000.

Then I met a classmate last night, and he said his friends at the scene who had attended Bersih 3 concurred with what Sarajun had told me – that the attendance was larger than Bersih 3.

Now, if the Bersih 3 attendance was 200,000-250,000, I can conclude that the turnout this time was 250,000-300,000. This tallies nicely with Haris Ibrahim’s prediction when I bumped into him at Pasar Seni at the start of the rally: he said he was expecting some 300,000 to turn up.

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My own earlier prediction of half a million did not materialise. Perhaps many were deterred by the dark hints of possible violence and trouble. Maybe tens of thousands were also intimidated by the last-minute announcement that Bersih 4 T-shirts would be banned as well as by the steady daily diet of warnings in the media in the run-up to the rally to deter Malaysians from attending. Why, 26 people were reportedly arrested last night allegedly for wearing Bersih 4 T-shirts.

Still, all said, Syabas to Malaysians for braving those scare tactics and turning up in record numbers for the Bersih 4 rally.

Hidup, Hidup! Hidup, Bersih!

What do you think? What’s your estimate of the turnout?


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  1. The high attendance is commendable despite the threats of silat exponents, taser gun, tear gas, water cannon, last minute T-shirts ban, warning of riot etc. Credit to all participants for keeping the streets free from rubbish and litter, a level of civic consciousness that the authority can learn from.

  2. KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened higher against the US dollar today on improved demand for the local currency, said a dealer.

    At 9.17 am, the local unit was quoted at 4.1500/1600 to the greenback from last Friday’s 4.1950/1050. The ringgit was also traded higher against a basket of major currencies.

    It rose against the Singapore dollar to 2.9437/9514 from 2.9877/9969 last Friday and was higher versus the yen at 3.4272/4366 from 3.4721/4812 last week.

    It appreciated against the pound sterling at 6.3810/3968 from 6.4561/4732 on Friday and strengthened against the euro to 4.6625/6754 from 4.7349/7470 previously.

    Dunggu will say its because of Bersih but we have the funadmental unlike duing Mahathir time when our reserve go down to 20 billion as compared to now 100 billions.

    Who is bad or rogue one should have the eyes to see but look like many are in obsession or just Kok Eye

  3. This weekend, my former boss Clare Rewcastle Brown did interviews with foreign media about Malaysia. Some think it’s strange that a British woman keeps talking about Malaysia, but I was not surprised. After I began working for her, I found out Clare was (allegedly) receiving funding from very powerful people in Malaysia. She keeps talking about money that people say went into our PM’s account, but never talks about the money she receives.

    Why? If Clare is such a believer in transparency, she should provide the Sarawak Report accounts and show us where her funding comes from. But she can’t do this. Because if she did, we would find out who her real boss is.

    • Quoted “funding from powerful people in Malaysia” who is more powerful than 1PM who sack the dpm?

    • Where is Jho Low?
      Where is the Rm2.6billion or whatever’s left in which account in which country?
      Don’t create distraction from this high crime.

      • Love it. At least CAT is willing to sacrifice the opportunity costs of mix development at Sia Boey.
        Unlike one ying-ying-yang-yang who only sees his own profiteering from affordable housing.
        LGE, how about reverting back to the 60s huge dragon heads for dragon boats?

      • tunglang please update us on the new development in Sia Boey. Those Ho Hia Ti must be pleased with the new development in this 7th month.

    • Receiving funding from powerful people in MALAYSIA? Of course who can it be? Sacking dpm, transferring macc, sb and playing musical chairs. PR can be that powderful?

  4. Wow half a million. More like it 100k. Pop sorry it’s 500k. Today 100k add tomorrow that will be 200k, then 50k go back and then come back, you get 250k, wow just keep on adding go back and come back and sure you get 500k. NICE try and not forgetting they also have new prophet that can claim you have taubat repented.

    • A person will occupy 4 sq ft of space.
      For a space of 2 km in length and 100 m in width, the estimated crowd size:

      2000mX3.28ft =6560ft
      100mX3.28ft =328ft
      2151680(ft)² / 4 =537,920

      So it is reasonable to assume the crowd to be at least 500K.

  5. You can tung tung tang tang but whatever Bersih 4 is already tainted with M 22 year of corruption, Cronyism and subversion of check and balance. People will see it NO different at all not bersih but Kotor. No amount of praying to niao Kong, kuan Kong, dark Kong, deities, God, angels, saints or prophets can change that FACTS.

    Cat senior rumbling through the trash bin for SEPT 16 Cat but sure he got rejected goods which prove that GHB and PKR are irrelevant when they could not get Malay support. Dream on with Pas. . Look.here you are willing to do a BETRAYAL just like M for.anything including implementation of hudud

    Try bring on

  6. A Merdeka Day Poem by Lim Lee Sah

    During the past two days KL turned into a sea of yellow.
    Many were willing to temporarily abandon the comfort of home’s pillow,
    To sleep on the streets perhaps next to another activist fellow.
    A tent was already like a luxurious bungalow.
    There was no need of fan or air-con as the night breeze began to blow.
    In demonstrating patriotism these rally participants weren’t poor or shallow.
    They simply wanted justice and righteousness in our nation to glow.
    Today is already the 58th Merdeka Day. Hello!
    But our currency has dropped to a 17-year low.
    And progress of the 1MDB investigations is way too slow.
    Corrupt leaders we’re too fed up to follow.
    Our anger against injustice continues to grow.
    But our love for this nation never fails to flow.
    Celebrating our independence, we still hope for a better tomorrow.

    • Are you sure you are too fed up to follow up with corrupted leaders or are you PANG POOI (BLOWING HORN)
      Are you not following a former PM, Mahathir that was so corrupt for more than 20 years.

      • Right, benny.
        So sorry for some blokes who have no opportunities to gain the benefits of learning & practising marketing warfare strategies.
        Yet they wanna ‘gao-gao’ with no real experience to apply in politics.
        These blokes try hard (like Blue Ocean Strategies of Na Ji?) blowing thro’ these wet ears filled with sea water.
        Too much of a Ooo Thong is not only bad for your morality & dignity, you never get to learn anything useful, purposeful & socially benefiting but always thinking of the next gravy trains & foreign generous donors.

  7. An UMNO leader claimed that the RM2.6 bil. donation money from a mysterios donor deposited into Najib’s personal account was to be used to fight the DAP-Jew threat. Looks like in order to counter
    Bersih-4 threat Najib will have to beg the donor for more donation to accomplish the job.

    • No wonder, there are some in this website incessantly attack DAP. They are (allegedly) well paid from part of the donation received. To be part of the team where the taikoh receive 2.6B is something to be very proud for many companies are only thousands

      • Now Umno is trying to link DAP with Yahudi in order to further strike the nerves of the malays…? Comunists as bogeymen can no longer work?


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